Friday, September 15, 2006

College Football Picks: Week 3

And we have reached the best Saturday, at least on paper, of many college football years. 7 different matchups where both teams are ranked... I'll take a look at 6 of them closely (for the record, Texas Tech is my pick in the other one). Seriously, if you ever plan to watch college football, this is the weekend to do it.

15) Oklahoma at 18) Oregon
A rematch of the Holiday Bowl last year, a game the Ducks had to have been looking forward to, especially since they're at home, where they're always very tough to beat. Dennis Dixon is playing great at QB, and Jonathan Stewart is one of the best RBs in the conference. They survived a trap game at Fresno St. last week, and are 2-0, just like Oklahoma. For the Sooners, everything obviously revolves around Adrian Peterson. Through 2 games, he's averaging 28 carries and 152 yards per contest... for a guy that got dinged up last year, I'm not sure that this is the best plan, but frankly, OU doesn't have a whole lot of options. In the end, I love Peterson, and I love coach Bob Stoops... but this OU team is not balanced enough, and Oregon is loooking more and more like it might be the 2nd best team in the Pac-10. If it were in Oklahoma I'd feel differently, but with the game in Oregon, I'll take the Ducks. OREGON 23-20.

17) Miami at 12) Louisville
This is a big game for many reasons. One, Larry Coker is firmly on the hot seat. Whether it's fair or not, a 1-2 start does not bode well for his future. Two, Louisville is trying to establish itself as a power. A lot of the Big East talk is centering on WVU, but Louisville's not so shabby. And three, the Big East needs a high-profile non-conference win. And no offense to Maryland, but that doesn't count. Two years ago, when Brian Brohm was a freshman, he saw playing time in a game at Miami and played well in a game Louisville nearly won... now, he's one of the Top 3 QBs in the nation. Miami's down right now, their "swagger" appears to be MIA, but they're still very talented. Kyle Wright is improving every day, and they have a very athletic defense. Without Michael Bush, I'm not sure Louisville can be balanced enough offensively. MIAMI 24-23.

4) USC at 19) Nebraska
Just how far back is Nebraska? Is USC good enough to make another run at the title? These are a couple questions that will be answered Saturday night. Nebraska is of course under Bill Callahan, and the WCO is starting to click with Zac Taylor at QB and some talented WRs. Meanwhile, as you know, USC replaced their whole backfield, but if you saw their first game, you wouldn't know it. John David Booty appears to be a suitable replacement for Leinart, and the plethora of talented backs helps offset the loss of White and Bush. Meanwhile, they have the best WR corps in the country, and the defense is more experience than last year. I like Nebraska, but they just don't have the talent to compete with the Trojans. USC 38-24.

7) Florida at 13) Tennessee
After 2 weeks, this game looks a whole heck of a lot better than I thought it would be before the season started. Tennessee dominated Cal in week 1 before barely escaping with a 35-34 win against Air Force. Meanwhile, the Gators are looking explosive, with Chris Leak at the helm and true freshman Percy Havin proving to be one of the most explosive players in the country. With a banged up Volunteer secondary, I like the Gators and Chris Leak to have success throwing the football, and then relying on the defense for the rest. FLORIDA 24-16.

11) Michigan at 2) Notre Dame
Notre Dame will be looking for their 3rd straight win in the series, which is something that doesn't happen all that often. Michigan has looked stellar, and they have a plethora of options offensively with Chad Henne, Michael Hart, Kevin Grady, Steve Breaston, and Mario Manningham. For the Irish, we know about the offense, but through 2 games the defense has been much improved from last year. Which is what I think will make the difference. Well, that and Charlie Weis' ability to control the flow of the game. Two very talented teams, but I like NOTRE DAME 34-31.

6) LSU at 3) Auburn
Wow. What a game this should be. These teams have two of the most talented defenses in the country, experienced QBs, and balanced offenses. LSU won their first 2 games by a combined score of 90-6. Auburn won theirs (against 2 major conference teams) 74-14. Last year, Kenny Irons gained 218 yards in an OT loss to LSU, and while I can't see him doing as well this year, he's the best offensive player on either team. And Brad Lester's not too shabby either. Like a lot of SEC games, this should be a defensive battle, low scoring, and whichever offensive team makes the least mistakes should win. At home, I'll make a weak vote for Auburn... but this is the game of the week. AUBURN 13-10.

Last Week: 3-2
Season: 6-4

6 comments:

Mini Me said...

I think Nebraska will give USC a run. You heard it first here.

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

i agree with all of your picks. really, i do. though, i'll have to disagree with mini me and say that USC will wallop the Corn.

WallStHustla said...

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Best Regards,

WallStHustla
www.ProFootballSecrets.com
makemoney@profootballsecrets.com


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